Dallas County Hosts Groundbreaking ceremony For new Oak Cliff Government Center

Dallas County leaders and community members participate in a ceremonial dirt dig to celebrate the beginning of construction on Dallas County’s new Oak Cliff Government Center. (Left to right) President and CEO of the Regional Hispanic Contractors Association John H. Martínez-D., Judge Juan Jasso, Constable Michael Orozco, Ryan Companies’ Paul Rowsey, Commissioner Elba Garcia, County Tax Assessor/Collector John Ames, GFF’s Maria Gomez, Alejandro Rodela of Marsalis Ave Church of Christ and County Administrator Darryl Martin

Dallas County hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the beginning of construction on its new Oak Cliff Government Center. For safety reasons in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dallas County live streamed the ceremony via Microsoft Teams so that all Dallas County officials, employees, constituents and project team members invited to the postponed March groundbreaking ceremony could participate. A small group of Dallas County officials, project leaders and local community members spoke about the meaning of the project to the local community and participated in a ceremonial dirt dig on site. 

Project general contractor Ryan Companies began construction of the Oak Cliff Government Center in June 2020, and the project is scheduled for completion in October 2021. “Dallas County is excited to officially break ground on the site of the new Dallas County Oak Cliff Government Center. This facility is community-focused and will enhance Dallas County’s reputation as a great place to work and do business,” said Dr. Elba Garcia, Dallas County District 4 Commissioner.

(Left to right) Ryan Companies’ Paul Rowsey and Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia on the Oak Cliff Government Center job site after a ceremonial dirt dig to celebrate the beginning of the project’s construction.

The two-story, 43,000-square-foot and LEED-certified building will provide a much-needed update to County services in District 4 and surrounding areas. The $33-million-dollar project scope includes the construction of a three-story parking garage with 240 parking spaces on the two-acre project site located at 702 East Jefferson Blvd. The new government center will house the Dallas County Justice of the Peace, Truancy, Constable and Tax departments.

Dallas County is working with Ryan Companies and project architect GFF to redesign portions of the building to support COVID-19 spread prevention. Examples of potential design adaptations to improve the safety and wellbeing of the staff and the public in preparation for a post-COVID-19 working environment include touchless building entrance, exits and plumbing fixtures, furniture and upholstery revisions and HVAC system upgrades. 

The project team expects MWBE participation for the project to surpass 50 percent. Second-chance workers will also contribute to the construction as part of the same Regional Black Contractors Association program through which workers were recruited to build Dallas County’s new Elections Operations Facility.

Alejandro Rodela of Marsalis Ave Church of Christ delivered an opening prayer in both English and Spanish followed by remarks from leaders including County Administrator Darryl Martin, Commissioner Elba Garcia, GFF’s Maria Gomez, President and CEO of the Regional Hispanic Contractors Association John H. Martínez-D. and Ryan Companies’ Paul Rowsey. 

To demonstrate their appreciation for all workers’ hard work and dedication to the project, especially in light of challenges presented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, county leadership ordered prepackaged deserts from local bakery Panadería La Hacienda By Cristy for the workers to enjoy on site in addition to gift cards from Del Sur Tacos. As a continued gesture of encouragement for local workers and to support restaurants near the project site, the county will cater food for the workers from other local restaurants in upcoming months.   

CBRE and OMS Strategic Advisors, LLC are the project brokerage firms and East Jefferson Partners, a Serra Real Estate Capital affiliate, is the building owner. CBRE will serve as the owner’s representative for the duration of the project.

All project updates and milestones will be shared via Dallas County’s website dedicated to highlighting county news, projects, success stories and recognitions, The Dallas County Messenger. An on-site camera provides live footage of project progress.